community interest company advantages and disadvantages

Are you considering setting up a community interest company (CIC)? It’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages to make an informed decision. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of operating as a CIC, so you can understand the impact it may have on your organization. By understanding the advantages and disadvantages, you can determine if this legal structure aligns with your goals and community-focused mission.


A community interest company offers several advantages that make it an attractive option for organizations committed to benefiting their community:

1. Limited liabilityA major advantage of forming a CIC is the limited liability it provides to its members and directors. This means personal assets are protected if the company faces financial difficulties or legal claims.
2. Credibility and trustBeing a registered CIC brings credibility and trust to your organization. It demonstrates your commitment to community impact and helps build partnerships with other stakeholders.
3. Financial supportAs a CIC, you can access various sources of funding and grants that are specifically available to social enterprises. This allows you to secure financial support for your community-focused activities.
4. Asset lockA key feature of a CIC is the asset lock, which prevents the distribution of profits to directors or members. This ensures any surplus income is reinvested back into the community.
5. FlexibilityCICs are given flexibility in terms of governance and structure. This allows you to tailor the company to suit your community’s needs without compromising your social objectives.


While community interest companies offer various advantages, it’s essential to also consider the disadvantages:

1. Reporting requirementsOperating as a CIC comes with additional reporting responsibilities, including the submission of annual accounts and a community interest report. This can add administrative burden and costs to your organization.
2. Restricted dividend paymentsA CIC is limited in its capacity to distribute profits as dividends to members or directors. This may impact the attractiveness of the organization for potential investors.
3. Lack of recognized statusSome stakeholders, such as traditional investors and funders, may not fully recognize or understand the CIC legal structure. This can create challenges when seeking certain types of financial support.
4. Regulatory scrutinyCICs are subject to regulatory oversight to ensure they fulfill their community interest obligations. This can result in additional scrutiny and compliance requirements compared to other types of organizations.

Benefits of Knowing the Community Interest Company Advantages and Disadvantages

Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of operating as a community interest company enables you to make informed decisions for your organization:

  • Informed decision-making: By weighing the pros and cons, you can make choices that align with your organization’s goals and objectives.
  • Better financial planning: Knowing the advantages and disadvantages helps you plan your finances, anticipate potential challenges, and seek appropriate funding opportunities.
  • Enhanced community impact: Being aware of the advantages of a CIC allows you to leverage the benefits to create a meaningful and positive impact on the community you serve.
  • Effective resource allocation: Understanding the limitations of a CIC helps you allocate resources efficiently, ensuring they are utilized optimally for community-focused activities.

By considering the advantages and disadvantages of a community interest company, you can make informed decisions about its suitability for your organization. It’s essential to weigh these factors against your specific goals, resources, and community impact objectives. With the right understanding, you can navigate the legal requirements and harness the benefits of operating as a community interest company.